Following an open letter from the Weeknd urging the companies to donate, the Big Three have proudly given a large sum of money in the amount of $100 million each. In addition, the labels have created individual initiatives to assist the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement which followed the cruel and unjust death of George Floyd. The civil rights movement has swept across the globe, fighting systemic injustices that includes racism, police brutality, and the abuse of power.
Warner Music Group graciously donated $100 million to help support these organizations that are closely related to the music industry. Additionally, the company is founding an advisory council and abetting in the identity of various music communities as well as social justice groups. Steve Cooper, CEO of Warner, said the following in a statement:
“This fund will support the extraordinary, dedicated organizations that are on the front lines of the fight against racism and injustice, and that help those in need across the music industry. Our advisory panel, which will draw from a diverse cross-section of people from our team and the wider community, will help us be very thoughtful and accountable in how we make an impact. We’re determined to contribute, on a sustained long-term basis, to the effort to bring about real change.”
Lucian Grainge, CEO of UMG, likewise donated $100 million and announced their plan to create a specialized task force committed to social justice and inclusion. They’ve selected their very own Chief Counsel, Jeff Harleston, to head up the initiative.
Harleston stated, “Everything—raising our voices in Congress, providing additional employee education and assistance, enhancing our philanthropy, using the power of our astonishingly vast catalog to effect change—everything will be on the table. The systemic nature of the problems are just too critical to leave anything off.”
Harleston hopes to see a lot of involvement in all different areas. He’s strongly encouraging all employees to use their platforms to influence others in joining the movement and inspiring them to make a change, as urgent as possible.
“As we know, protest is just a start, not a solution. Real and constructive change—lasting change—requires sustained focus and unwavering commitment over time.”
Rob Stringer, Sony Music Group’s Chairman and CEO, lastly announced his company has joined the cause of donating $100 million to support social justice and anti-racist initiatives around the world.
In the announcement, Stringer stated: “Racial injustice is a global issue that affects our artists, songwriters, our people and of course society at large. We stand against discrimination everywhere and we will take action accordingly with our community fully involved in effectively using these funds.”
Sony Music Group doesn’t just plan to stop at donating $100,000. The company pledges to commit both “time and energy” to the cause as the company moves become more inclusive and sensitive to racial injustices within its ranks. Earlier this week, Sony Music Group made the most of Blackout Tuesday, holding town halls with Spike Lee, Ben Crump, the attorney representing the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and more.
“A big takeaway from [Blackout Tuesday] is that the discussions we started must continue,” Stringer commented. “We can be a company where these difficult, uncomfortable conversations occur more often. To facilitate these platforms for being heard, we plan to hold more regular employee forums in the coming year.”